Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell: Experimental and Modelling Studies
D.S. Falcão(1) , C.M. Rangel2), A.M.F.R. Pinto(1)
CEFT, Departamento De Enghenaria Química, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto,
Porto, Portugal
LNEG, Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, Lisboa, Portugal
The Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) has attracted much attention due to its potential applications as
a power source for transportation and portable electronic devices. Based on the advantages of the
scaling laws, miniaturization promises higher efficiency and performance of power generating devices
and the MicroDMFC is therefore an emergent technology.
In this work, a set of experiences with a MicroDMFC of 2.25 cm2 active area are performed in order
to investigate the effect of important operating parameters. The cell is presented in Fig. 1. The
experimental rig consists in a rotameter for air flow, a peristaltic pump (Control CO) for methanol flow
and an electrochemical station (Zahner) to obtain polarization curves. The effect of the methanol
concentration on the cell performance, between 3 and 5 M was studied. All the experiments were
performed at room temperature, a condition of special interest with view to portable applications.
Maximum power density achieved was 32.6 m /cm2 using a 4 M methanol concentration at room
temperature. Polarization curves are compared with mathematical model simulations in order to
achieve a better understanding of how parameters affect performance.
The one-dimensional model used in this work takes in account coupled heat and mass transfer, along
with the electrochemical reactions occurring in a direct methanol fuel cell and was already developed
and validated for DMFC in previous work [1-3]. The model is also used to predict some important
parameters to analyze fuel cell performance, such as water transport coefficient and methanol
crossover. This easy to implement simplified model is suitable for use in real-time MicroDMFC
Fig. 1 Micro DMFC frontal view.
Keywords: MicroDMFC; Experimental Studies, Modelling, Heat and Mass Transfer
The partial support of “Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia - Portugal” through project PTDC/EQUFTT/112475/2009 and scholarship SFRH/BPD/76063/2011 is gratefully acknowledged.
Hypothesis 2013 Abstract Template
Oliveira, V.B., Falcão, D.S., Rangel, C.M., and Pinto, A.M.F.R. Heat and mass transfer effects
in a direct methanol fuel cell: A 1D model. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy; 33 (14):
3818-3828, 2008.
Oliveira, V.B., Rangel, C.M., and Pinto, A.M.F.R. Modelling and experimental studies on a
direct methanol fuel cell working under low methanol crossover and high methanol
concentrations. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy; 34 (15): 6443-6451, 2009.
Oliveira, V.B., Rangel, C.M., and Pinto, A.M.F.R. Water management in direct methanol fuel
cells. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy; 34 (19): 8245-8256, 2009.
Hypothesis 2013 Abstract Template

Hypothesis 2013 Abstract Template Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell